The Aztec people dominated central and southern Mexico from the 14th to the 16th century and are best known for having established an elaborate and wide-ranging empire destroyed by Spanish invaders led by Hernán Cortéz. The leader of the Aztecs during the Spanish conquest was the Great Montezuma II. Their name is derived from a mythical homeland to the north called Azatlán, but they also called themselves the Mexica. The Aztec language belongs to the Nahuatlan branch of the Uto-Aztecan family. Human and animal sacrifices were an integral part of Aztec religion. For warriors, the ultimate honor was to be slain in battle or to volunteer for sacrifice in a major ritual. The Aztecs are credited with the discovery of delicious chocolate, made from the fruit of the cacao tree.
The Aztec empire one of the greatest civillizations of the world that ever existed.
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